Episode 10, Partnered with a Survivor Podcast

with Ruth Stearns Mandel & David Mandel

About Episode 10: Lived Experience Episode with Ryan Hart and the Y Change Team, Berry Street

Ruth & David talk to the Lived Experience Experts highlighted at our third Annual Asia Pacific Conference in partnership with Berry Street. We were honored to hear and reflect on the experiences and recommendations for systems change by the Y Change Experts from Berry Street. Their insights bring depth, context, and keep systems accountable to the reality that child victims of abuse need to be heard by systems in order for true nurturance and safety to be met.

Our Survivor Keynote speaker, Ryan Hart, speaks about his experiences of coercive control and how it impacted himself and his family. He creates insight and clarity around the harm that non battering forms of violence do to families and individuals and gives us perspective on how society is failing to recognize the dangers of coercive control. Ryan and Luke Hart are tireless advocates for systems to recognize coercive control as a serious and dangerous crime. Ryan and Luke lost their mother Claire and their sister Charlotte when their father chose to shoot and kill them after they fled coercive control.

You can learn more about Y Change at Berry Street by following this link: https://www.berrystreet.org.au/y-change

And Ryan and Luke Hart and their story can be found here: https://www.cocoawareness.co.uk/

We hope you enjoy this lived experience podcast. Safe & Together honors the experiences and reflections of victims and survivors and believes that true systems change can only happen when we honor their voices and their experiences are reflected back to help systems do better.

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More About The Podcast

You asked, we answered. Amidst our current, global political and social upheavals, during movements, activism and testimonies, during legal cases, fear and victim-blaming – we’ve heard your voice asking for clarity, insight and thoughts about how all of this is reflected in the Safe & Together Model. Many of the stories and news pieces we hear about from our partners all over the world involve complex questions, yet the beginnings of change and hope are based on the sound, simple principles of the Model.

To that end, in our new podcast, “Partnered with a Survivor,” S&T’s Executive Director and Founder, David Mandel and Ruth Stearns Mandel offer a raw and intimate glimpse into their personal and professional partnership and what it means to truly partner with a survivor, raise a family based on S&T principles and engage in social change at every level. This is a podcast for practitioners and parents, partners and employers, coworkers and friends – and anyone else who may want clarity, understanding, hope and healing.

What does it mean to give consistent consent? What is coercive control? How do you probably see it or feel it every day? This is a podcast you’ll wish you had heard when you were a teenager. In unsure, confusing times, it’s our goal to widen the audience for the Safe & Together Model-associated material to survivors, their family members, and even perpetrators. For professionals familiar with the Model, it will offer another angle on the issues addressed by the Model. For those who don’t know Safe & Together, it offers a connection to the themes and ideas behind the work.

These podcasts are a reflection of Ruth & David’s on-going conversations which are both intimate and professional and touch on complex topics like how systems fail victims and children, how victims experience those systems, and how children are impacted by those failures. Their discussions delve into how society views masculinity and violence, and how intersectionalities such as cultural beliefs, religious beliefs and unique vulnerabilities impact how we respond to abuse and violence. These far-ranging discussions offer an insider look into how we navigate the world as professionals, as parents and as partners. During these podcasts, David & Ruth challenge the notions which keep all us from moving forward collectively as systems, as cultures and as families into safety, nurturance and healing.

*Trigger Warning: Some of the topics discussed in the next 30 min are deeply personal and sensitive, which may be difficult for some people. We also use mature language to describe some feelings. Finally, we use gender pronouns like “he” when discussing perpetrators and “she” for victims for two reasons: 1.) statistically, more men are perpetrators than are women when it comes to domestic violence, abuse and coercive control; and 2. For clarity sake, sticking with one pronoun causes less confusion for the listener. We know there are many men who are in abusive relationships and we are not invalidating their situations.

About the podcasters: David and Ruth are committed to creating systems and cultures of nurturance and safety. David Mandel founded the Safe & Together Institute which trains systems in domestic violence aware practices from a child safety lens. Ruth Stearns Mandel is a survivor of complex abuse, child abuse and domestic abuse growing up in a cult. She is a former teacher and trainer using her experience to clarify messages and complexities around abuse and survivors.